Bill to build crematorium and buy pub will be £5m

The site of the proposed crematorium in Doddington Road, Wellingborough
The site of the proposed crematorium in Doddington Road, Wellingborough

The bill to be paid by Wellingborough Council for a new crematorium and to buy a pub has been revealed as almost £5m.

Last month Wellingborough Council sealed a deal to buy agricultural land off Doddington Road to build a crematorium.

The local authority also agreed to buy Rafferty’s pub in Market Street, Wellingborough, in a bid to generate income.

At the time, the financial details of both deals remained confidential and were not released to the public.

But figures now show that £183,000 was spent on buying the pub and a total of £4.7m will be spent on the new crematorium by 2015.

Both ventures were paid for using the local authority’s capital reserves, which cannot be used to fund services.

The revenue from both of the new assets will, however, be able to fund council-run services across the borough.

Director of resources Richard Micklewright said: “The council has several million pounds of capital reserves in the bank, but we’re not allowed to use that to run day to day council services.

“We use these reserves instead to finance projects that benefit the community, and also to invest in property that can generate an income which we are then able to use for services.

“The purchase of land for the crematorium is the first step in a project we identified a need for a while ago, and the balance of the £4.7m of capital funds set aside for the scheme will cover all aspects of design, building and fitting out.

“While some of it is a standard building work, there is also the purchase and installation of cremators, which are specialist equipment that have to meet very high environmental criteria.

“The project is anticipated to take the two years identified to reach a conclusion and will result in an excellent facility that will really benefit local people.

“The purchase of the freehold of Rafferty’s is an investment that will generate about a 10 per cent return in rental income – much more than if the capital funds stayed in the bank.”